Introduction: Referentialism vs. Descriptivism

  • Francesco OriliaEmail author
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 113)


There are expressions called singular terms. As Salmon (1991, p. 835) puts it, “A singular term is any expression whose function, when used in a particular context, is to refer to (denote, designate), Reference Reference Denotation Designation ,i.e., to stand for, a single individual”. I would say that the typical function of singular terms is to allow us to single out one specific object in order to verbally attribute properties to it, i.e. to “talk about” it (in the terminology of Reimer 2003). There are three main kinds of them, definite descriptions such as “the director of La vita è bella


Singular Term Propositional Attitude Definite Description Descriptive Content Definite Article 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipto. di Filosofia e Scienze UmaneUniversità di MacerataMacerataItaly

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